U.S. Department of Education
In an era when most parents work, many Americans want their children to have access to safe and supervised after-school activities that can help develop academic, personal, and social skills. In 1994, Congress authorized the 21st-Century Community Learning Centers (21st Century) program to open np schools for broader use by their communities. In 1998, the program was refocused on supporting schools to provide school-based academic and recreational activities after school and during other times when schools were not in regular session, such as on weekends, holidays, and during summers. As an after-school program, 21st-Century grew quickly from an appropriation of $40 million in fiscal year 1998 to $1 billion in fiscal year 2002. It now suppo1ts after-school programs in about 7,500 rural and inner-city public schools in more than 1,400 communities. Programs operate in public school buildings and offer academic, recreational, and cultural activities during after-school hours. A distinguishing characteristic of 21st-Century programs is the inclusion of academic activities. Grants made after April 1998 included a requirement that programs include academic activities.
Research, Inc., Mathematica Policy and Resources, Inc., Decision Information, "When Schools Stay Open Late: The National Evaluation of the 21st-Century Community Learning Centers Program, Executive Summary, First Year Findings" (2002). Service Learning, General. 252.